After her historic fourth place finish in the finals of vault event at Rio Olympics 2016, one would think that Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar has earned a well-deserved break. However, the 23-year-old had other, more important plans. Just a day after returning to Agartala, Dipa appeared for her second semester MA exams at the Distance Learning Centre of Tripura University.
As if she wasn’t enough of a role model already.
"I will go home and appear for my MA exams on Monday. I think sports persons are really very intelligent and they don't have to prepare a lot for their exams. I will get a day and will try my best to write well in the exam," she had earlier told India Today.
Dipa’s mother Gouri said that this appreciation for learning has always been a part of the athlete’s mindset. "My daughter always says sports is in its place and education is in its place. She says she has to get a degree," she told NDTV.
The faculty at the Tripura University were also impressed with Dipa’s dedication. "It's a striking example to other students also. One who plays at the Olympic level can also study side by side to acquire higher education, along with her achievements in sports," Dr KB Jamatia, Director of Distance Education at Tripura University, was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Despite missing the Olympics podium by a whisker, 0.150 points to be precise, Dipa is India's most successful gymnast so far. She is also set to be awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award later this year.
In terms of her future in gymnastics, Dipa had said, “I will try extremely hard to get gold medals in the forthcoming Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I shall try to deliver my best in future.”
With inputs from agencies